Palm Beach, Florida.- (Photos: Dimitrios Panagos)
The Leadership 100 29th Annual Conference, which ran from February 20 to 23, 2020 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, saw record attendance of 525 members and their guests. Under the theme, “Leadership 100 Moves Forward”, the Conference centered on renewed support for the ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in the new decade.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America attended the Leadership 100 Conference for the first time and delivered an inspirational message on his vision for the future of the Church. In a historic action, the Board of Trustees approved a grant of $5 million for St. Nicholas National Shrine, one of the highest priorities of His Eminence.
The keynote speaker, Michael Kratsios, United States Chief Technology Officer, spoke of the importance of the United States as an open society leading the world in technology and cited how his Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage inspired his work and understanding of the interrelationship of science and religion.
Michael Kratsios is now the highest-ranking Greek American in the Administration. He also alluded to his heritage in the hearing, stating, “ My mother and my grandfather came to the United States from native Greece in search of a more prosperous future. They instilled in me that enduring optimism for a better tomorrow. And I believe that embracing technological innovation, building new technologies in America and shaping those technologies with American values will lead us to that stronger future.”
Other featured speakers included Tim Tassopoulos. President & Chief Operating Officer, Chick-fil-A, who spoke on the concept of service in the business world, the community, and the Church, which is a guiding principle of both his company and of the Orthodox Church. The Rev. Fr. James W. Kordaris, Director of the Department of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism, described the relationship of the parishes to the Archdiocese and the importance of creating relevant ministries. Philip Nicozisis, health educator and business owner, discussed his memoir, Have Laptop, Will Travel: Memoirs of A Digital Nomad, which was the number one best seller in seven countries in 2019,
In addition, three young Greek American professionals, George Bousis, Founder and Executive Chairman, Raise and Owner and Chairman, Riot Squad Esports; Doretta Mistras, who is responsible for the Health Investment Banking Division of Citigroup’s coverage of the Healthcare Technology and Outsourcing Practice; and Athan Stephanopoulos, President of NowThis, the leading digital media news brand known for producing and distributing short-form video news for a predominantly millennial and Gen Z audience, spoke of their motivations and inspirations for starting businesses and innovating in their successful careers, along with the challenges they faced. They appeared in a Saturday Forum panel moderated by Leadership 100 member, Laura Evans Manatos, a television journalist and media executive.
Other events included the meetings of the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and General Assembly, the Welcome Reception, Hellenic Glendi, Golf and Tennis Tournaments, the Walk/Run, and the Grand Banquet. A concluding Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Elpidophoros, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos and Bishop Sevastianos of Zela at Saint Mark Church, Boca Raton, on Sunday, February 23.
LEADERSHIP 100 APPROVES $5 MILLION FOR ST. NICHOLAS AND ADDITIONAL GRANTS OF $2,673,658 FOR 2020
The Leadership 100 Board of Trustees, in a historic vote, approved a grant of $5 million toward the St. Nicholas National Shrine. The vote took place on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at the 29th Annual Leadership 100 Conference in Palm Beach, which concluded on Sunday, February 23, according to Chairman Argyris Vassiliou.
“We wanted to respond to the priorities of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros by offering the fullest participation possible in supporting the St. Nicholas National Shrine and ministry. Our action demonstrates the support of Leadership 100 in ensuring the realization of this significant national symbol for our Church and our Nation.”
The St. Nicholas grant will be paid over the next two fiscal years, $2.5 million in 2020 and $2.5 million in 2021. The Executive Committee had approved the grant, along with additional new and prior year grants of $2,673,658 to be distributed in 2020.
In addition to the required Executive Committee approval of all grants, the decision was made to submit the St. Nicholas grant to the full Board of Trustees for their support because of its significance.
Additional new grants included:
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Information Technologies Department – $500,000 for the Modernizing Archdiocesan Technology – Telecom and Systems Redesign.
The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries – $270,000 for the Metropolis Camping Ministries to support each of the eight Metropolis camps as well as one for the Direct Archdiocesan District.
The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries – $90,000 over three years ($30,000 per year) for the Youth Safety Education to ensure compliance with the newly adopted Policies for the Safety of Children and Youth.
The Department of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism – $76,200 for the Home Mission Parish Program.
The Office of Ionian Village – $74,558 for the IV Next 2020.
The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations – $50,000 for the International Project and Partner Engagement.
The Spanish Ministry Initiative – $50,000 for the Clergy Conference for Spanish Ministry.
The Center for Family Care – $15,000 for the Clergy Couple Care – Inaugural National Clergy Couple Retreat.
The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations – $100,000 over two years ($50,000 per year) for the Orthodox Christianity and Mental Health.
The Department of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism – $5,000 for the Inter-Orthodox Missions, Outreach & Evangelism Roundtable.
The Hellenic College/Holy Cross Office of Vocation & Ministry – $80,000 for the Training Our Leaders in Transformative Value of Excellent Fundraising Practices.
The Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage – $65,000 for the Project Mexico Harvest 100 to support volunteers and interns building new homes.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco – $50,000 for the 2020 Young Adult League Conference.
The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine – $12,500 for the Costas Balafas – Photographic Hierarchy on Mount Athos 1969-2001 Exhibit.
Ancient Faith Radio – $60,000 for the National/Global Orthodox Digital Media Expansion Project to create three remote studios in order to expand its reach and programming.
Prior year grants included:
The Small Parish Program – $105,000 for second year funding of a $330,000 three-year grant.
The Office of Ionian Village – $15,000 for the IV On-The-Go (third year of a five-year grant totaling $75,000) to organize eleven retreats that seek to replicate the Ionian Village experience in parishes within the United States.
Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarship Program – $1,000,000 (second year of a ten-year grant totaling $10 million).
Retired Clergy in Need Program – $5,400.
The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University – $50,000 (third year of five-year grant totaling $250,000) for the Affirming an Orthodox Christian Theology of Human Rights to develop an international research initiative and publish analyses of Orthodox Christianity’s engagement of human rights issues.